Patients could have a say in what treatment they receive in the future after the government published a consultation paper on NHS information.
If the "information revolution" proposed by the coalition government is approved by Parliament, by 2013/14 patients will be able to log on to their medical records and make choices about their care.
Every patient would have a username and password and could update their records with information such as blood pressure levels.
Professor John Williams, director of the health informatics unit at the Royal College of Physicians, admits the current NHS data management policy needs a drastic overhaul.
He said: "As it stands the management of data in the NHS leaves much to be desired.
"Useful information rarely follows the patient through the system, making it more difficult for doctors and nurses to provide them with the personalised treatment they have a right to expect."
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Royal College of Physicians